star trek discovery

After a range of controversies and failures, can CBS win back the Star Trek fan community, or are they headed towards a Solo style disaster?

Star Trek licensing has become incredibly muddy, with two distinct brands. This is due to the old Viacom corporation and CBS splitting in 2005. Much like a messy divorce, Paramount took the movie franchise, creating the Kelvin timeline, whilst CBS took control over Star Trek for television.

As you can imagine, this created a minefield over which company owned control of what aspects of Star Trek. It is likely for this very reason that Star Trek Discovery looks incredibly removed from the fan-loved Prime Timeline in which all prior Star Trek shows took place. This is in spite of CBS claiming the exact opposite.

In January 2017, in the run up to the launch of Star Trek Discovery, an ongoing legal dispute with the creators of the fan film Axanar came to an end. CBS was successful in shutting down the largest Star Trek fan film of all time.

The reasoning behind CBS was clear: Axanar had raised $638,000 before going into production. That’s a hefty sum of money and the production level was high enough that it could potentially draw existing fans away from Star Trek Discovery. In addition, CBS set up a series of guidelines to limit the scope of any future fan films.

When Discovery did eventually air in September 2017, developers of the indie game Tardigrades were shocked to discover an uncanny resemblance to design and concept elements that appeared to be lifted from their unreleased game. Both Discovery and Tardigrades involve the concept of giant Tardigrades being used to unlock interstellar travel.

Whilst CBS will more than likely win this lawsuit (assuming it isn’t settled in private), the damage is already done. Whether the corporate giant lifted ideas matters far less than the perception. It is entirely conceivable that this was just a pure coincidence given that the two went into production around the same time. Yet fans are unlikely to see it this way.

You be the judge, was this a mere case of coincidence or was it plagiarism? -CBS and Tardigrades

Discovery itself has received a mixed reception and stiff competition from Fox’s Star Trek homage series The Orville. Unlike Discovery, The Orville adapted the values and style of storytelling that Star Trek had previously been famous for.

More importantly, there were a number of Star Trek alumni names attached to the series, ranging from actor and director Jonathon Frakes to Brannon Braga, one of the key names behind 90s Trek, serving as both writer and executive producer.

It was clear that CBS needed to course correct.

First came the announcement that there were plans for a number of future Star Trek TV shows. Then in early August came the announcement that Sir Patrick Stewart himself would be reprising the role of Jean Luc Picard for a currently unnamed Star Trek series.

On paper this should be one of the few announcements likely to reintegrate the fan base. There are few characters from the 90s era of Star Trek that are as iconic and beloved as Picard.

Are you excited to see the return of Jean Luc Picard or do you fear they may destroy the character? -CBS

While this announcement was largely welcomed by the fan community, there are still many who question whether they’ll get the style of storytelling that they want with the character.

In terms of tone, the writing for Star Trek has been stripped back from the slower more thought provoking types of stories that Trek was once notorious for. Discovery is perhaps best described as more of an action sci-fi adventure series. This leaves a genuine concern as to whether or not fans will get a return to the Star Trek they love or more of the new series that many are less enthusiastic about.

Unfortunately, much of the good will of the Picard announcement was undone recently with yet another cease and desist order from CBS.

This time CBS went after a fan made VR experience by a group called Stage 9. This VR simulation gave fans the chance to enjoy a complete recreation of the Starship Enterprise. It was available for free and produced as a non profit project for fans by fans.

The argument goes that this was most likely due to the company Ubisoft already having been contracted to create the Star Trek game Bridge Crew, although the intent and style of the two productions are radically different. The Stage 9 production was promptly ordered to shut down.

For many, the chance to walk through a virtual recreation of the Enterprise was a dream come true. -Stage 9

This brings us to the present. CBS is now once again dealing with an outraged fan community, with many taking to social media refusing to support CBS in the future.

It is worth noting that in regards to both Axanar and Stage 9, CBS was legally well within their rights to take action to protect their intellectual property. The real question is whether or not they did so in the smartest way when it comes to building a fan community. Perhaps a smarter tactic would have been to offer to legitimise some of these groups and monetise them as co-productions.

At this point, a return to the Prime timeline and the style of storytelling of the past is highly unlikely.

It would quite likely be a nightmare sorting out the legalities. Instead CBS seems determined to hold its ground and focus on building a new fan base geared towards the mainstream public.

Another issue CBS may be concerned with is the ageing fan base. Right now people in their mid thirties and above are working, they have disposable income and are paying customers. Let’s look ahead: How long will this trend continue? How many fans of classic Trek does CBS believe fall into the the under 25s?

CBS would have run the numbers. They want new Trek to tap into as many people as possible. If they were to make a new series that was heavily tied into existing continuity, they would risk alienating far more people and the show would likely struggle to connect with younger viewers. When Star Trek the next generation was transferred to blu ray it underperformed in sales. Like it or not, CBS needs any new series to reach new audiences

So whether or not the Trek community will continue to support CBS or continue to turn against the company remains to be seen. Ideally CBS needs to find a balance. They need to find ways to appease and appeal to the old fanbase whilst at the same time making their product accessible for future generations and younger fans.

Creating new Trek content shouldn’t need to come at the expense of the older material. With limited information about the profitability of Star Trek Discovery, it’s difficult to say whether or not their strategy is working. If CBS does struggle to create a new strong fan base, then they may need to reassess their policy.

I'm a man of many interests and talents. I have a love of science fiction, horror, fantasy across most formats. I am a massive films fan. I formerly was a host on the Soylent Greenscreen movie podcast. These days I cosplay and write in my spare time.


  1. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you
    knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically
    tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for
    quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience
    with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything.
    I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  2. Hey There. I discovered your weblog the usage of msn. This is a very smartly written article.
    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to learn more of your useful
    info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

  3. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a
    really well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to
    read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post.
    I will certainly comeback.

  4. Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your
    articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and all.
    Nevertheless imagine if you added some great photos or videos to give
    your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images
    and clips, this site could undeniably be one of the best
    in its field. Superb blog!

  5. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The text in your article seem to be running off the screen in Firefox.
    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to
    do with web browser compatibility but I thought I’d
    post to let you know. The design look great though!
    Hope you get the problem fixed soon. Cheers

  6. I blog quite often and I truly appreciate your content. The article has really peaked my
    interest. I am going to take a note of your website and keep
    checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.

  7. The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole
    my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a 30 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
    I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  8. Google

    We like to honor quite a few other net web sites on the net, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out.

  9. My brother recommended I might like this blog.
    He used to be entirely right. This post actually made my day.
    You cann’t believe just how a lot time I had spent
    for this information! Thank you!

  10. Hi there, I found your site by means of Google while searching for a related topic,
    your website came up, it appears to be like good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    Hi there, simply became alert to your blog through Google,
    and located that it is truly informative. I’m going to be
    careful for brussels. I will appreciate if you happen to proceed this in future.
    Numerous other people will likely be benefited out of
    your writing. Cheers!

  11. I’m very happy to discover this page. I want to to thank you for ones
    time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely
    enjoyed every part of it and I have you book-marked to look at new
    things on your web site.

  12. I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing
    issues with your site. It appears as if some of the written text in your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide
    feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too?
    This may be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had
    this happen previously. Kudos

  13. I’m more than happy to uncover this web site. I wanted
    to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read!!
    I definitely loved every part of it and I have
    you saved to fav to check out new stuff in your site.

  14. SSNI-550

    […]although web sites we backlink to below are considerably not associated to ours, we feel they are really worth a go by means of, so have a look[…]

  15. I was excited to discover this site. I wanted to thank you for your
    time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely savored every bit of it and I
    have you book-marked to look at new information in your website.

  16. anal training kit

    […]we like to honor many other world-wide-web web sites on the net, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  17. What’s Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled
    upon this I’ve discovered It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out
    loads. I’m hoping to give a contribution & help different customers like its helped me.

    Good job.

  18. bàn tăng chỉnh chiều cao

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a couple of unrelated information, nonetheless genuinely really worth taking a look, whoa did one discover about Mid East has got additional problerms also […]

  19. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your website?

    My blog site is in the very same area of interest as yours and
    my users would definitely benefit from some of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this alright with you. Thanks a lot!
    plenty of fish natalielise

  20. butt plug

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a handful of unrelated data, nevertheless actually really worth taking a look, whoa did 1 master about Mid East has got a lot more problerms also […]

  21. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our
    community. Your site provided us with valuable info to work
    on. You’ve done a formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

  22. Hi are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get
    started and set up my own. Do you need any html coding
    expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

  23. When someone writes an piece of writing he/she keeps the image of a user in his/her mind
    that how a user can understand it. Thus that’s why this
    article is perfect. Thanks!

  24. pc games for windows 10

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated information, nevertheless truly really worth taking a appear, whoa did 1 learn about Mid East has got more problerms at the same time […]

  25. buy stiiizy pods online

    […]we like to honor numerous other world-wide-web web-sites around the web, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Below are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  26. THC vape oil

    […]we prefer to honor a lot of other online websites around the internet, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  27. Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite
    justification appeared to be on the net the simplest factor to take into accout of.
    I say to you, I certainly get annoyed whilst other folks consider concerns that they just don’t recognize about.
    You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and
    also defined out the whole thing without having side effect
    , folks could take a signal. Will probably be again to
    get more. Thanks

  28. Beautiful t shirts

    […]we prefer to honor lots of other world wide web web-sites around the net, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  29. sports blog

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a couple of unrelated data, nonetheless actually worth taking a appear, whoa did 1 master about Mid East has got much more problerms at the same time […]

  30. gay briefs

    […]that may be the finish of this report. Here you’ll locate some web sites that we consider you will appreciate, just click the hyperlinks over[…]

  31. First of all I would like to say awesome blog! I had
    a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind prior
    to writing. I’ve had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out.
    I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10
    to 15 minutes are generally lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints?


  32. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to “return the
    favor”.I am trying to find things to enhance my website!I suppose its ok to
    use some of your ideas!!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here